KITCHENER -- A Kitchener man's morning routine of picking up garbage on a Kitchener road has become a source of kindness and hope for people living in the area.

Jim Romahn cleans up a stretch of Lackner Boulevard every day.

"I like it looking neat and tidy,' he said. "If you are out walking, you might as well do something useful."

Residents are recognizing his work.

"I see Jim every morning when I'm out on my walk," Scott Wilson said.

Romahn has kept track of the trash for more than 20 years.

"I have found Blackberries, I have found purses, I have found wallets, credit cards, I have found cash," he said.

He also keeps tabs on people he sees out walking or jogging, while others take note of Romahn's daily adventure.

"The community loves him being out here," Wilson said.

Some honk their horns on the way by, or stop to take his picture or say thank you.

Romahn has become a neighbourhood treasure, putting a smile on people's faces during the pandemic.

"There's good in everyone and, in this day and age, we really need more people like Jim," Wilson said.

Romahn said the gesture makes the community feel stronger together.

"It's encouraging," he said.